Software Localization Engineering Internship


DATES OF INTERNSHIP: February – June (flexible)

LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP:  4 months at 30 hours a week (flexible)


FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR THE INTERNSHIP: This is an unpaid internship. Mercy Corps will work with universities to provide school credit. 

Mercy Corps responsibilities

For the duration of this internship assignment the intern will receive:

  • Workstation within Mercy Corps Portland office headquarters
  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools

Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

  • Living expenses
  • Transportations costs
  • All other costs associated with this internship

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Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Operations Department supports field-led work that delivers measurable impact.

The Program Performance and Quality (“PaQ”) Department is an integrated team consisting of monitoring and evaluation functions, program management, gender integration, and a global data management software (called TolaData), which is under development. The team’s approach supports both foundational and cutting edge adaptive management approaches to program management, with design, monitoring, evaluation and learning functions as key processes and benchmarks to ensuring evidenced-based decision making for quality program implementation.

TolaData is Mercy Corps’ customized, in-house digital tool for managing and organizing data. It was specifically designed to facilitate program teams in fulfilling their mission. By putting all of your data — program outputs, indicators and evidence — in one traceable, transparent place, TolaData has the power to improve program management and boost data quality, helping you maximize your impact at every step. Mercy Corps has been rolling TolaData out since January 2016 to all of its country programs. The system continues to evolve and new features added to it to improve overall functionality and value to Mercy Corps’ program teams.  We are looking for additional support to lead testing as new features are developed and deployed.

To better support our global user base, TolaData team is seeking a Software Localization Engineering Intern to research and build a framework to support the translation of the TolaData platform into three languages: French, Spanish, and Arabic. This is a technical role that combines knowledge of programming languages, development environments, user experience requirements, internationalization/localization tools as well as language and translation issues. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Identify gaps in existing products to support localization, which includes customization related to numeric and date formats, currency, keyboard usage, collation, and sorting as well as translation of field labels.
  • Recommend a set of localization standards to be met, and educate the team on industry best practices.
  • Investigate potential localization solutions; document and share analysis and recommendations with the team.
  • Develop existing products to remove obstacles for localization e.g. evaluating character encodings and the use of unicode, concatenation of strings, etc.
  • Adapt the codebase to support local, regional, and language preferences such as local calendar, number formats, date and time formats, etc.
  • Implementation must be done in a way that separates localizable elements from the source code and content. So that these customization and translation can be applied depending on the user’s preferences.
  • Facilitate the translation of the TolaActivity user interface into our three supported languages, collaborating with professional translators or crowdsourced volunteers.
  • Collaborate with QA lead to plan and implement automated localization tests to ensure that future development meet our defined standards.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  The intern will learn and practice skills in software localization. The intern will also gain knowledge in Agile software development process, user discovery research, data systems, Object oriented programming, relational databases, model-view-controller paradigm, client-server architecture and quality assurance testing design and automation.


  • TolaData localization and internationalization standards are clearly defined and documented.
  • The TolaData platform supports translation into French, Spanish, and Arabic.
  • TolaActivity core user interface elements are translated into our three supported languages.
  • Automated i18n/l18n testing is in place to ensure that future development meets our standards.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience. (We will also consider college students with advanced course work.)
  • Proficient in Python2.7 and Django
  • Experience working with web-apps and familiar with client/server architecture.
  • Knowledgeable about Internationalization(I18N) best practices
  • Solid understanding of MySQL relational database
  • Ability to communicate technical topics to a non-technical audience.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Not required but highly desirable — advanced proficiency in one of our three target languages: French, Spanish, or Arabic.


  • Self-starter with demonstrated ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results and deadlines.
  • Flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving throughout the product life cycle, from high level conceptual design to detailed implementation and testing tasks.
  • Able to communicate and collaborate effectively with team members of varied work styles in a non-hierarchical, Agile software development environment.
  • Understanding for diverse cultural, political and religious environments and be able to work successfully in those environments.
  • Maintaining a sense of humor in stressful situations.

Mercy Corps interns and volunteers represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Visit the Job Website to Apply


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